T Nation

Rep Range.

Just wanting to know the sets and reps that should be used for an in-season program. I tend to lose strength fairly quickly so maybe something in the 3-5 range for reps and 2-4 for the sets. Thoughts???

Here is Joe DeFranco’s response to a football player wanting info on an in-season program. (I edited out some of the info to make it short and sweet).

[quote]Most athletes gain size and strength in the off-season only to see their gains disappear when it really counts. I always ask my football players, What good is it to be big, strong and fast in May, if you are going to let yourself get small, weak and slow in November? This question usually helps them realize the importance of a properly designed in-season strength & conditioning program.

The #1 limiting factor in maintaining your strength during the season is your ability to maintain your bodyweight. If you lose weight during the season, chances are your strength will be lost as well. Basically, the best way to maintain your strength during the season is to maintain your muscle mass. The in-season programs I design for my high school football players keep this in mind.

You must know that you can maintain your size and strength by lifting only 2 days a week. I feel the best way to go about this is to lift the day after the game (usually Sunday) and then again mid-week. The day after the game I would focus mostly on muscle mass maintenance. Warm-up and then perform 2 work sets of 6-10 reps for all the major muscle groups of your body. This workout will help you recover from your game as well as prevent muscle mass loss. A sample workout is as follows:

A. Barbell Squats ? 2 sets of 8-10
B. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press ? 2 sets of 8-10
C. Chin-ups ? 2 sets of max reps
D. Standing lateral raises ? 2 sets of 8-10
E. Dumbbell Curls ? 2 sets of 8-10
F. Swiss ball crunches ? 2 sets of 25
*After you warm-up, this workout shouldn?t take you longer than 35 min.

You would perform your ?explosive? lift(s) during the second workout of the week. This is the day you can also work on your ?weak links? (usually upper back/external rotators). Here?s a sample workout for Tuesday or Wednesday:

A. Hang Cleans ? 3 sets of 3
OR
A. Box Squats with chains (50-60% of 1RM) ? 6 sets of 2
B. Reverse Hyperextensions ? 2 sets of 10
C. Bent-over Dumbbell Rows ? 2 sets of 8 each arm
D. Cable external rotation ? 2 sets of 12 each arm
E. Abs (choice)[/quote]

There you go! He also answered a similar question for a wrestler and showed a sample program.

[quote]bundy wrote:
Just wanting to know the sets and reps that should be used for an in-season program. I tend to lose strength fairly quickly so maybe something in the 3-5 range for reps and 2-4 for the sets. Thoughts???[/quote]

Umm…in-season for what, exactly? Not knowing that, I’d say read Mike Rosbertson’s article on workout design

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do;jsessionid=99E4711F94E55E5A779A685680391B53.ba13?article=299prog2

then put together a program based on your goals.

Also useful might be the “Reps you’ve never tried” article (one of my personal favorites).

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do;jsessionid=99E4711F94E55E5A779A685680391B53.ba13?article=04-037-training

And, of course, there’s always the training program guide if you want to use something that’s already designed for you.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459787
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459367

If after reading some of that stuff you still want advice, perhaps a description of what you’re trying to achieve during this “season” would help others help you. :o)